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Cement’s carbon footprint driving digitalisation investment

by Mark Cantrell
Cement being poured

In their efforts to mitigate cement’s carbon footprint, producers are driving a multi-billion dollar surge in investment expenditure for digitalisation, according to new research.

Cement production and processes emit 5% of all carbon dioxide emitted by human activity, so reducing that environmental impact is a high priority among producers.

Producers are now publishing their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) credentials concerning energy use in their operations, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and water usage.

Digital technologies are said to enable companies to collate and analyse the data to identify process improvements.

Furthermore, investments in optimising their production equipment and cement quality is also driving those investments in digitalisation, says global technology intelligence firm ABI Research.

According to its analysis, total spending on digitalisation is forecast to reach US$3.5bn in 2033 (a 5.5% compound annual growth rate).

Michael Larner, ABI Research’s industrial and manufacturing markets research director, said:“With all of the above in mind, cement producers are developing risk frameworks that present opportunities for technology suppliers to help firms assimilate information for presenting credentials and performing scenario planning exercises.”

Cement production accounts for 4% of global warming. However, concrete, from which cement is the main element, is the key material used in the construction industry, and will continue to be required for buildings, roads, and infrastructure projects.

“This is the dilemma for the industry and can be considered an opportunity for both engineers and technology suppliers to devise solutions to develop cement that can fulfil industries’ requirements while not decimating the environment,” Larner added.

Digital technologies will have a role to play at the production level, and companies are developing and commercialising their expertise, ABI says, with both TITAN Cement Group and Heidelberg Materials already commercialising their digital expertise in predictive maintenance and application development, respectively.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Digital Transformation in the Cement Industry.

Image credit: Bannafarsai_Stock/Shutterstock

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